This is a variation on a popular Greek dessert which is a firm baked cake covered with sugar syrup. The syrup is allowed to seep into the cake for a few hours (preferably overnight) and it sweetens and moistens it. Note that this recipe uses breadcrumbs instead of flour and is useful when you want to bake something but have run out of flour.
- 250 g butter (butter tastes better but margarine is fine)
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1⁄3 cup liqueur (brandy, orange or whatever you like)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 cup finely ground walnuts
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 pieces lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
- sweetened whipped cream (to decorate)
- chocolate shavings (to decorate)
- Grease a 22cm by 35 cm pan with butter or margarine. Do not line with baking paper or use non-stick sprays.
- Beat butter in a medium bowl until softened and add sugar beating until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl combine breadcrumbs, spices and baking powder.
- Add eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition and then the liqueur.
- Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat until combined.
- Finally add the walnuts and beat until just combined.
- Tip into baking pan and smooth evenly over bottom.
- Bake on the bottom rack of the oven at 200c for 30-35 minutes depending on how hot your oven is.
- Test cake by inserting skewer and allow to cool until room temperature.
- While cake is cooling add ingredients for syrup into a small saucepan, except for vanilla essence.
- Boil for 5 minutes at medium heat. Then take off heat and add the vanilla essence if desired.
- Pour hot syrup over cooled cake. Start by ladling slowly from one end to another and gently tip remaining syrup over cake trying to be as even as possible.
- Allow cake to soak syrup for a few hours. It is best if it soaks overnight.
- Cut cake into diamonds to serve with a swirl of whipped sweetened cream (I add a bit of vanilla essence or liqueur to the cream) and flaked chocolate.
- Note: It is beat to start with all ingredients at room temperature to avoid butter curdling when eggs are added.